Dr. Naoki Fujiwara (Otemon Gakuin University)
Water supply and sewerage service is indispensable for public health. In Japan, these services are conducted as a public service by municipalities, but their revenues are predicted to be shrinking in response to a decreasing birth rate, an aging population, and the water conservation movement. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the administrative reform of the public water service in Japan to increase the business efficiency for sustainable management. The research methods included a text analysis of policy materials issued by the national and local governments and conducting interviews with the newly established municipality-owned entity in Osaka. As a result of this research, first, we identified the administrative reform progress of the public water service system in Japan. Second, as a case study, we confirmed the progress of the administrative reform of the sewerage service by the Osaka City Government, which included the “separation of infrastructure and operation” process started from transplanting the operation department of the service into an external organization of the municipality. Third, we examined the political decision-making process of the organizational transformation at the City of Osaka. Last, we showed the policy implications regarding further administrative changes of the public water services in the future.
Collaborative Governance of Watersheds Towards Water Security for the Province of Cebu: Issues and Gaps
Mr. Joselito T. Sumabat (Coastal Resources and Ecotourism Research, Development and Extension Center,DENR-Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau)
Countries like the Philippines which are very much vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, trees in urban environment are indispensable. They offer shade, provide cooling effect, help control air pollution and enhance aesthetic value of the place. However, poor know-
how on urban tree health management and/or lack of tree appreciation by the urban residents, public utility maintenance contractors or by maintenance crews not only result to defective and unsightly trees but to high risk trees.
The application of technologies on urban tree health management helps control wood decay primarily due to harmful fungi, offers longevity/extension of tree life, brings back beauty and form, and most especially, reduces risk of accidental fall that might harm human lives and properties. Obviously, unlike developed countries, maintenance of trees in the country’s urban areas, especially those in roadsides are generally neglected. Though many show pure concern, nobody takes the responsibility.
This paper presents some experiences and initiatives on urban tree health assessment and management as well as issues and challenges confronting urban tree health management. It also presents an assessment tool developed to guide LGUs, DENR field offices and other concerned offices in validating urban trees reported to be posing danger to lives and properties and some recommended actions to eliminate or reduce these conditions.
COMMUNICATION BASELINE STUDY AS DATA SOURCE FOR DESIGNING A COMMUNICATION PLAN FOR FLOOD DISASTER PREPAREDNESS OF STAKEHOLDERS IN LIBON, ALBAY, PHILIPPINES
Ms. Jimilyn O. Gerobin (Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Libon, Albay)
This study was conducted to collect data as basis for designing a communication plan on flood disaster preparedness in Pantao – the largest and most frequently flooded barangay in Libon. It aimed to (1) Describe the socio-demographic characteristics of the study participants; (2) Determine the current situation of flood preparedness in Libon, Albay; (3) Find out the respondents’ information needs, information-seeking behavior, and media preferences; (4) Determine the respondents’ knowledge, attitude, and practices on flood preparedness; and (5) Identify the key components of the communication plan.
It utilized quantitative and qualitative research approaches through a researcher-administered survey and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). The survey respondents were determined using stratified random sampling while the FGD participants were purposely selected. Actionable Risk Communication Model was used as research framework.
The respondents have positive attitude towards flood preparedness however, there are issues on lack of flood preparedness information, structures and equipment, and plans and programs. Hence, communication planning should focus on disseminating actionable information and planning workshops for community leaders. The residents comply with flood preparedness instructions given by the barangay council, contradictory to the premise of Actionable Risk Communication Model that politicians are not the most effective risk communicator and motivator.
improving efficiency in public financial management: a study on the adoption of the unified account code structure (UACs) in select national government agencies
Ms. Agnes Arban-Quilinging (Asian Development Bank - Governance Thematic Group)
Since 2014, the Philippine Government has been implementing the Unified Account Code Structure (UACS) as an integral component of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Reform Program aimed at simplifying, improving, and harmonizing government’s financial management processes and information systems.
Through UACS, oversight and implementing agencies share a common set of financial data, from budgeting to audit. The use of codes helps simplify and consolidate financial reports; facilitates timely and accurate reporting of receipts and expenditures; and enables comparison of disbursements for programs, projects and activities, with their approved appropriations. The UACS, compliant with the Government Finance Statistics (GFS), allows for classification of expenditures by functions of government based on sectors and priorities, including health, education, and social protection.
In this context, this study looked at the adoption of the UACS reform in national government agencies using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). Focusing on the top spending agencies, this study described UACS’s perceived usefulness and ease of use towards agencies’ actual system use. UACS’s usefulness was determined in terms of UACS application to budget cycle: Budget Preparation, Legislation, Execution and Accountability. UACS’ Ease of Use, on the other hand, was ascertained through a comparison between UACS and the old system.
ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONALITY AS AN INVISIBLE ENGINE FOR DISASTER RECOVERY: A REFLECTION FROM THE 2015 NEPAL EARTHQUAKE
Dr. Maki Ito Tsumagari (Nepal Administrative Staff College / Japan International Cooperation Agency)
The 2015 Nepal Earthquake (7.8 magnitude) resulted in widespread damage and destruction to lives and properties. In one of the 14 most severely affected districts, Sindhupalchok, the death toll reached 3,469 (16% of total casualty, and a little over 5% of the district population of 65,802), and the number of house damage counted more than 50,000 totally damaged and 15,000 partially damaged. Amid such a calamity, a cadre of “citizen facing” public servants calmly and orderly attended to the locals’ needs. The scene was reported by the author in Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), a rapid damage and recovery needs assessment by the Government of Nepal with cooperation from the donor community. Four years since, the author re-interviewed the very public administration officer she had met and discussed in Sindhupalchowk District Administration Office. With the aid of media and other fact-based records, the author drew recollection of this officer prior and after the earthquake as a purposive case study and delineated what unfolded as critical for his office to sustain service. This article attempted to shed light on what made a difference in public service delivery under a disaster situation and presents implications for those concerned with disaster preparedness in public administration.
resilience; global commons; environmental protection; green government; extractive industries; climate change mitigation; disaster risk reduction and management, etc.